The Tullamore Nursing Development Unit (NDU), since its inception in 1993, has been engaged in improving the quality of nursing practice offered to the patients in the NDU and in the hospital as a whole. Many areas of patient care have been addressed, including some of the more tenacious problems, which have often proved resistant to traditional nursing care. One such problem is sleep disturbance, especially in the older patient. In order to try to improve the care available, the staff of the NDU have had to adopt some alternatives to the traditional way of thinking. The use of aromatherapy has significantly improved the sleep patterns of the patients and at the same time, reduced the amount of night sedation required. Following a study of the effectiveness of aromatherapy, it is now being successfully used in the Coronary Care Unit for patients with problems of stress, with encouraging results.
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